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Brian Kelly says Saturday night’s five turnovers like ‘leaving runners in scoring position’

11.22.15 at 3:24 am ET
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Maybe it was his homecoming to Boston or maybe it was the fact that he just felt relieved that his team didn’t spit the bit on a golden opportunity at a place at the four-seat national championship table. Whatever the case, following a 19-16 nailbiting win over the 3-8 Boston College Eagles at Fenway Park, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly found a very fitting metaphor for surviving five turnovers and three in the red zone on the way to a 10th win of the season.

“Well, it’s like anything else. I’ve been trying to prepare for this moment,” Kelly said. “It’s like leaving runners in scoring position (laughter). Pretty good?”

After making the baseball reference he had been planning, he admitted that there’s no planning – or excuse – for not converting points when you get the chance against a team like BC.

“You can’t go down there and not come away with points, especially — that’s a really good defense, and for us to come up empty every single time, you know, we saw that almost sort of against Temple, too,” Kelly said. “You’ve got to score points when you’re down there. We’re moving the ball fairly effectively most of the night, and just to keep stubbing our toe down there becomes concerning, obviously, and it made it a lot closer in my perspective.

“I thought Boston College did a great job of ripping it loose. Great job on CJ Prosise. They ripped that one loose. And I really couldn’t tell on Josh Adams’s fumble. It looked like one he should have secured. That was the second one.”

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Read More: Boston College, Bostonc College Eagles, Brian Kelly, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Steve Addazio finds loss to Notre Dame ‘exciting, heartbreaking, frustrating’

11.22.15 at 2:53 am ET
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Saturday was a heck of a way for a young team to go through the growing pains.

But the 19-16 loss to No. 5 Notre Dame at Fenway Park was filled with plenty of learning experiences for the men of Boston College coach Steve Addazio.

“This is going to come back to us,” Addazio said of the growing moment. “It’s exciting. It’s heartbreaking. It’s frustrating. But it’s exciting. It’s not like we’re going to be all fixed right away. We’re still a young team, but we’re going to get better and better and better. To watch Jeff compete out there, to watch John Fadule compete out there, to watch Thaddeus Smith compete out there, to watch Elijah Robinson compete out there, to watch Mike Walker compete out there, to watch Tom Sweeney compete out there.”

Boston College’s attrition rate this season has been remarkably high, starting with the loss of quarterback Darius Wade to a broken ankle and star running back Jon Hilliman to a broken foot.

“I’m just rattling off some really young guys, guys that are freshmen or redshirt freshmen, to watch Chris Lindstrom and to watch Aaron Monteiro and John Baker, wow,” Addazio said. “I’ve been coaching a long time and haven’t seen a list that long of that kind of youth before, but it’ll come back.”

Addazio’s Eagles have lost seven straight to fall to 3-8 on the season. They will try to head into the winter on a winning note when they face Syracuse at the Carrier Dome next Saturday.

Read More: Boston College, Notre Dame, Steve Addazio,

No. 5 Notre Dame holds off Boston College in exciting, error-filled ‘Holy War’ at Fenway Park

11.21.15 at 11:04 pm ET
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In the end, the Boston College defense couldn’t do it all Saturday night against the fifth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

In a festive atmosphere before 38,686 fans at Fenway Park, the Fighting Irish played a sloppy game but came away with a 19-16 win over the Boston College Eagles in the Shamrock Series. While the game was in Boston College’s backyard, it was a mostly Irish partisan crowd. The contest, technically a Notre Dame home game, was the first football game at Fenway since the Patriots beat the Bengals, 33-14, on Dec. 1, 1968.

Notre Dame had to recover an onsides kick with 53 seconds remaining to secure the win after Boston College’s Jeff Smith drove the Eagles 86 yards in nine plays to draw the Eagles within a field goal with under a minute left.

The game appeared on paper to be an easy win for the fifth-ranked Irish, who knew coming into the game that No. 3 Ohio State lost at home, 17-14, to Michigan State. Notre Dame (10-1) didn’t play like its national playoff hopes was on the line. They were their own worst enemy in the first half, committing four turnovers in the first half, including a pair of turnovers inside the red zone.

The Eagles (3-8) forced four first half turnovers and could’ve had a fifth but it was overturned after TV replay. Notre Dame still managed a 10-0 lead behind a Justin Yoon 30-yard field goal and a 10-yard touchdown pass from DeShone Kizer to Amir Carlisle. Notre Dame outgained Boston College 153-26 in the 15 minutes.

Boston College had a golden opportunity to get back in the game but Thadd Smith dropped a likely touchdown pass at the Notre Dame 25 after he got behind the defense.

Boston College continued to show life after halftime, as Michael Walker took the second half kickoff 67 yards to the Notre Dame 27. But as would be the case all night, the Eagles offense could do absolute nothing with the ball, settling for a 43-yard Colton Lichtenberg field goal into the right field end zone that cut Notre Dame’s lead to 10-3. Jeff Smith came on for an ineffective John Fadule in the third quarter and began running more of an option-read offense.

The Irish appeared ready to respond immediately when they drove from their own 28 down to the Boston College 6. But there, BC defensive back Justin Simmons picked off DeShone Kizer at the BC 3 to end the drive. It was Notre Dame’s fifth turnover of the night, which did not including a fumble recovered by BC in the first half that was overturned by replay.

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Read More: Boston College, DeShone Kizer, Holy War, Jeff Smith

Jerry York on Jeremy Bracco’s departure: BC hockey ‘not for everybody’

10.30.15 at 10:31 pm ET
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Jeremy Bracco’s sudden departure from Boston College on Wednesday could have been a distraction for the Eagles. Coach Jerry York and team captain Teddy Doherty made sure it wasn’t.

After learning Wednesday morning that Bracco, a second-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was leaving after just five games to sign with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers, the Eagles addressed it and then immediately turned the page.

Doherty, one of four seniors on the Eagles, said the team held a captains meeting after finding out about Bracco’s decision.

“It was really just a meeting where we said, ‘If you don’t want to be here, you don’t want to be here,’ ” Doherty said. “I thought our best two days of practice the entire year were Wednesday and Thursday. … We did a great job blocking out all the distractions. It was irrelevant.”

The fourth-ranked Eagles showed the truth in Doherty’s words Friday night, as they beat fifth-ranked Denver, 4-3, in an exciting, back-and-forth game. Doherty scored one of the Eagles’ goals and Matthew Gaudreau scored the game-winner on a mad scramble in the Denver crease with 36 seconds left in the game. BC has won four in a row and is now 5-1-0 on the season.

York didn’t go into too many details about Bracco’s departure, but he did address it after the game.

“We have certain non-negotiable items with our hockey team,” York said. “It’s not for everybody. There’s certain standards that we’re not going to waver from. It’s not for everybody.

“We moved on and we played very, very well. This is a tough sport, played at a high level. We demand an awful lot from our players. If you’re not ready for that, then it’s not a good environment for you.”

Sources: Freshman Jeremy Bracco to leave BC for OHL’s Kitchener Rangers

10.28.15 at 9:50 am ET
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There were questions over the summer about whether Jeremy Bracco would keep his commitment to Boston College or jump to the Ontario Hockey League. Bracco, a second-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, did end up at BC, but he didn’t stay long.

After playing just five games for the Eagles, Bracco is leaving school and signing with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, according to multiple sources. Mike McMahon of College Hockey News was the first to report Bracco’s departure.

Bracco, a 5-foot-9 winger, registered three assists and eight shots on goal while playing top-nine minutes in his five games with BC. He is expected to be in Kitchener on Wednesday and a deal could be finalized then.

Bracco is certainly a big loss for the Eagles, but it’s not a season-ender. Forward depth was a strength of their team and they should still have enough of it to be a strong offensive team. BC takes a 4-1-0 record into Friday night’s game against Denver.

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Providence’s Kris Dunn Preseason Player of the Year in Big East

10.14.15 at 10:14 am ET
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Didn’t we just start football season? College hoops are just around the corner, too. The Big East Conference held media day for its 10 men’s basketball programs at Madison Square Garden in New York Wednesday, and to no one’s surprise the league coaches selected Villanova as the preseason top pick.

The Wildcats return three starters from a team that won the Big East regular-season and tournament titles last season, featuring Big East co-Player of the Year Ryan Arcidiacono. Arcidiacono, who was named as a preseason first-team All-Big East selection, joins 6-foot-10 center Daniel Ochefu and 6-5 shooting guard Josh Hart as the core of a team that finished 33-3 in 2014-15.

They’ll be joined by the selection for Big East Freshman of the Year, guard Jalen Brunson, in a potentially very potent lineup.

The Preseason Player of the Year honor, however, went to Providence’s Kris Dunn. Dunn shared the award with Arcidiacono last season and also took the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honor — the first time in Big East history that a guard accomplished the feat. Dunn averaged 15.6 points, 7.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds and almost three steals per game for the Friars, who were picked for fifth overall in the preseason Big East poll.

Dunn is the second Friar to receive Preseason Player of the Year honors, after former PC All-American Ryan Gomes took the honor in 2004-05. PC plays Stonehill College in its lone exhibition game at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Oct. 31 and will open the regular season Nov. 14 at home against Harvard.

Big East Preseason Poll
1. Villanova
2. Georgetown
3. Butler
4. Xavier
5. Providence
6. Marquette
7. Seton Hall
8. DePaul
9. Creighton
10. St. John’s

Big East Preseason First Team
Kellen Dunham, Butler
Roosevelt Jones, Butler
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova
Jalen Reynolds, Xavier
Player of the Year:  Kris Dunn, Providence
Freshman of the Year: Jalen Brunson, Villanova

Second Team
Billy Garrett Jr., DePaul
Henry Ellenson, Marquette
Angel Delgado, Seton Hall
Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall
Daniel Ochefu, Villanova

Honorable Mention
Isaac Copeland, Georgetown
Luke Fischer, Marquette
Jalen Brunson, Villanova
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier

Read More: Kris Dunn, Ryan Arcidiacono,

BC picked 1st in Hockey East preseason polls; Goalie Thatcher Demko may not be ready for start of season

09.21.15 at 4:04 pm ET
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Boston College is the favorite to win Hockey East this season, according to both the media and coaches around the league. The Eagles received 20 of 35 first-place votes in the league media poll released over the weekend and seven of 12 first-place votes in the coaches poll released Monday at the league’s annual media day event.

Defending Hockey East champion Boston University got three first-place votes in the coaches poll and defending national champion Providence got the other two. In the media poll, BU got seven first-place votes, UMass-Lowell got five, Providence got two and Notre Dame got one.

Besides the coaches poll, the other big news item to come from media day is that BC goalie Thatcher Demko may not be ready for the start of the season. Demko, a Canucks draft pick and preseason All-Hockey East pick by the media, had surgery on both hips after last season.

Demko’s hips had actually been bothering him for several years, but he still managed to put together a strong first two seasons at BC, posting a .919 save percentage in 24 games as a freshman and a .925 in 35 games last year, good for fourth in the league. The expectation is that Demko will be more mobile (not to mention more comfortable) once he’s completely recovered from the surgery.

“He’s not 100 percent yet, but we expect by late October, early November that he should be fully healed,” York said.

The Eagles open the regular season Oct. 9 against Army.

Here are the complete preseason polls from the coaches and media, with points included and first-place votes in parentheses: Read the rest of this entry »

BC quarterback Darius Wade lost for the season with ankle injury

09.19.15 at 1:56 pm ET
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Steve Addazio lost his starting quarterback for the season to an ankle injury Friday night. (Mike Petraglia/

Steve Addazio lost his starting quarterback for the season to an ankle injury Friday night. (Mike Petraglia/

It truly was a lost night for Boston College Friday at Alumni Stadium.

Not only did they lose the game to the ninth-ranked Florida State Seminoles, they lost their starting quarterback for the year.

The Eagles announced Saturday afternoon that Darius Wade suffered a serious left ankle injury in the fourth quarter when he was strip-sacked.

With 12:02 left in the fourth quarter, and BC facing a second-and-10 from their 25, Wade was stripped of the ball and Florida State recovered at the BC 14. Wade had his left leg pinned under him on the sack and his left knee appeared to buckle and his ankle was twisted badly.

BC coach Steve Addazio said after the game that his initial fear was an ankle injury and those fears were confirmed Saturday. The sophomore was initially replaced by freshman quarterback Jeff Smith. Doug Flutie’s nephew Troy Flutie then came in late in the fourth quarter.

Wade was just 4-of-12 for 47 yards and an interception. Smith fired incomplete on his only attempt and Flutie was 1-of-2 for 9 yards, giving the Eagles just 56 yards total passing for the game.

Wade seemed to give the Eagles a spark late in the third quarter, running for a first down on third-and-8 deep in BC territory. That was followed up by two first downs and drive out to the BC 40. Then cornerback Terrance Smith, who had a big hit on a tackle on the previous play, came up and stripped running back Jon Hilliman of the ball. Jalen Ramsey scooped it up easily and ran 36 yards for a touchdown, putting Florida State up, 14-0. Moments later, Wade’s season came to an end.

Read More: Boston College, Darius Wade, Florida State, Jeff Smith

Steve Addazio still proud in a shutout loss: ‘Our team is a tough football team’

09.19.15 at 2:22 am ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — To say Friday night was a tough pill to swallow for Steve Addazio is doing an injustice to bad-tasting medicine.

What made the 14-0 loss to No. 9 Florida State so hard to take for the Boston College head coach was that there was a legitimate chance to spring an upset like they pulled off last September against then-No. 9 USC.

But when you gain just 195 yards and cross the 50 just three times, your chances are slim. But still, BC trailed just 7-0 with 12:20 left in the fourth quarter and had the ball at their own 40. That’s when Jon Hilliman decided to fight for extra yardage when already wrapped up. Unfortunately, Hilliman didn’t wrap the ball and it was stripped, allowing Jalen Ramsey to scoop it up and ramble 36 yards for what was, for all intents and purposes, the ballgame.

“Our team is a tough football team,” Addazio said, trying to find a silver lining. “Tough. We played hard. We played physical. We played tough. That happened on the field today. I don’t sugar coat anything with anybody. We played hard. We played physical. We played tough. It’s just a shame that we had to put the ball on the ground in the second half for no reason.

“With that kind of physicality, with that kind of grit and that kind of toughness there will be a lot of opportunities for us. We have to grow up. We’ve got to mature. We’ve got to be able to make the plays that are available to us. We didn’t do that today offensively. There were some plays available and we didn’t make them. The Boston College football team played really, really hard today and you can grow off of that. That’s your foundation. Now take that and grow from that. Take that and move and grow.”

Addazio will look at three plays in this game on film and wonder what if. The first one was, of course, the Hilliman fumble. The second was the chance to sack FSU quarterback Everett Golson in the end zone in the second quarter for a safety. Golson evaded linebacker Harold Landry and escaped.

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Read More: Boston College, Florida State, Steve Addazio,

BC loses game, quarterback in defensive battle with 9th-ranked Florida State

09.18.15 at 10:59 pm ET
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Troy Flutie fires a pass in the 4th quarter Friday night in a loss to Florida State. (Mike Petraglia/

Troy Flutie fires a pass in the 4th quarter Friday night in a loss to Florida State. (Mike Petraglia/

CHESTNUT HILL — Another big upset was not in the cards Friday night at Alumni Stadium.

Just over a year after knocking off Southern Cal with an offensive explosion on the Alumni Stadium turf, Boston College couldn’t get on the scoreboard and fell to ninth-ranked Florida State, 14-0, in the ACC opener for both teams.

It was the 25th straight ACC win for Florida State, which won the national championship in 2013 and was a national semifinalist last season before being blown out by Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson, replacing No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston, led Florida State to an 83-yard scoring drive to open the game. That drive was capped off by a 9-yard TD strike to wide receiver Travis Rudolph. But after that drive, the Eagles‘ defense stiffened the rest of the half, allowing just 76 yards.

The Eagles got an even bigger break when All-American kicker Roberto Aguayo missed a relatively routine field goal attempt of 42 yards wide left late in the second quarter.

The two teams traded off three punts each in the third quarter, with BC missing a key chance when Florida State’s Jesus Wilson muffed a punt at the FSU 35. But Javien Elliot was there for the recovery.

Just before the end of the third quarter, BC sophomore quarterback Darius Wade seemed to give the Eagles a spark, running for a first down on third-and-8 deep in BC territory. That was followed up by two first downs and drive out to the BC 40. Then cornerback Terrance Smith, who had a big hit on a tackle on the previous play, came up and stripped running back Jon Hilliman of the ball. Jalen Ramsey scooped it up easily and ran 36 yards for a touchdown, putting Florida State up, 14-0.

Things went from bad to worse on the next series. With 12:02 left in the fourth quarter, and BC facing a second-and-10 from their 25, Wade was stripped of the ball and Florida State recovered at the BC 14. Wade had his left leg pinned under him on the sack and his left knee appeared to buckle. BC won the challenge on the turnover but lost Wade for the rest of the game. The sophomore was replaced by freshman quarterback Jeff Smith.

After the game, Eagles coach Steve Addazio said he wasn’t sure but thought initially it was an ankle injury.

Doug Flutie’s nephew Troy Flutie entered the game with just over six minutes left and led just the third drive into Florida State territory on the night. He ran an option and kept the ball and 4th-and-2 and came up short, turning it over to Florida State, which ran out the clock to clinch their third win of the season.

As for Golson, he improved to 2-0 at Alumni Stadium. He was the quarterback for the Fighting Irish in 2012 when Notre Dame came to Alumni Stadium and beat the Eagles, 21-6, on the way to the national title game, where he was beaten, 42-14, by Alabama. Golson finished 15-of-24 for just 119 yards and one touchdown.

BC held Golson and the Seminoles to just 58 yards in the second half but BC could manage only 195 yards for the game, including just 56 yards net passing.


Read More: Boston College, Darius Wade, Doug Flutie, Everett Golson
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